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1201  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter Impressions Thread on: March 08, 2006, 11:42:46 PM
One piece of advice I can give: use the left trigger.  Being a naturally mouse-inclined gamer, I initially dropped to the scope at every opportunity (click down right thumbstick).  While this is great for taking out snipers or specific targets at long range, in most firefights, you're only going to want to zoom in with the left trigger, both to keep situational awareness and to suppress/eliminate mutliple targets quickly.  The scope is just too slow to engage multiple hostiles, which is great for precision, not great for medium-range survivability.

Also, don't discount those smoke grenades!  While you're never in a gimmick puzzle like FSW, smoke grenades can help you maneuver unseen for a better shot.  When you have both short/medium and long range hostiles engaging, tossing one behind the closer group to confine things to one firefight does wonders.

Also, don't underestimate the effectiveness of forcing your men to attack specific targets.  While I found the teammate AI to be a little lacking at first, when I started using the up arrow to force them to attack targets during firefights, they smartened up much more and were far more effective.
1202  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter Impressions Thread on: March 08, 2006, 11:11:56 PM
Cross-post from OO:

Yes, we're bucking the trend with impressions in the first post!

After playing a couple of missions of the campaign mode, my thoughts can be summed up as such: Killer app.

The training portion is lackluster, but lasts about five minutes, if that. After that, it's like you're thrust into the beginning of a Jerry Bruckheimer movie. The control is tight, though I'm still reacquainting myself with gamepad aiming; however, it's clear at this point that I'm the weak link, not the controls. Everything is easy to access, though on a non-HD TV, I had to squint a little to make out a few of the controls in the training. If you don't have a sharp TV, keep the manual handy just for quick reference. However, I don't need to stop and think what's what during a firefight. Team controls are well-done despite only having three actual command buttons, which for your team correspond to move/engage, retreat/regroup, and engagement mode (attack vs. defense).

The plot is very Tom Clancy, but so far seems to err on the realistic side of outrageous. It's fast-paced, and even in the first couple of missions keeps the plot points coming, though it's never overwhelming and you don't quite feel railroaded.

The visuals are spectacular, even on standard... I'm drooling to see this on an HDTV now, it must be truly spectacular. No pop-in, no visual glitches that I've seen so far, and every scene is realistic and well-done. Character models are amazing, and they managed to avoid the plasticy look of Riddick/PDZ while still doing great lighting. I think the 360 GPU is finally to the point where a really spectacular scene can be created without relying too much on visual tricks that fall apart on close inspection. Lighting has been top-notch on every scene; sunrise and daytime create different, distinct effects, and I'm about to start my first night mission. Movement is smooth, and there's nary a hitch in framerate, even with a cutscene in the top right Cross-Com window, your team's viewpoint in the top left, your own character/screen moving around, and a firefight going on. The lack of a visible 'loading' screen (there are fade-ins and fade-outs, which take all of 3 seconds) means you're essentially never pulled out of the immersion.

Audio is great, though my TV doesn't have great speakers. Positional audio is quite apparent and well-done, and I'm sure if you have a 5.1 system, you'll get way more out of this section than I am. Music is appropriate most of the times, from rock songs playing while you're in a helicopter orbiting the city, to an amazing Jerry Bruckheimer-esque orchestral moment while your soldiers are making a desperate stand.

Gameplay seems top-notch. It's much, much more cinematic than the only other GR game I've played, the PC original, but despite concessions made for console, it seems like they kept the intent of it intact. I've been gunned down quickly while not watching myself, and the game is not shy about killing you if you mess up (though I have yet to run into an arbitrary-feeling death), and if you're fast and quick on the trigger, you can survive most desperate situations. Save points are maybe a tiny bit too far apart for my liking, though I've really only had a problem with one section, and that was my own fault for getting my entire squad killed before that section started, and I have yet to get frustrated.

I'm hoping to try the multiplayer action out a bit tonight, the co-op looks like a lot of fun. I took a quick look at the Instant Action screen, but didn't see any options for bots or AI teammates in those modes. We'll see how that shakes out.

To wrap up: This is the most complete feeling next-gen game I've played. FN Round 3 is great for what it is, and has an edge in ultra-detailed player models, but GR:AW creates whole scenarios that feel like they wouldn't have been possible on an older console, in both scope and complexity. I guarantee you PD:Z gets traded in next time I want to buy a game, because right now, there's absolutely no way I can see going back to playing that, even to finish up the SP campaign, and I suspect even the MP will pale in comparison. GR:AW is the complete next-gen package, and hopefully will be the killer app for about two weeks until Oblivion launches (although I can see GR:AW holding the MP crown for a long, long time).
1203  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / GRAW - Out Tomorrow in Many Stores on: March 08, 2006, 08:55:17 PM
Caught the BB floor monkeys unpacking, by the time I had mine in hand there was a cluster of people lined up for the rest.  I think they sold out post haste, so I'm lucky I got mine.
1204  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / [360] New content on Live : PGR3 Demo, BF2 video and more! on: March 08, 2006, 04:55:28 PM
The CoD demo is new.  It was on kiosks/demo disks for ages, but just hit Live a few weeks ago (if that).
1205  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / [360] College Hoops 2k6 - Gold on: March 08, 2006, 03:57:35 PM
How's my Red Storm in the game, and where do they play their home games?  If it's Carnasecca Arena and not MSG, I might need to pick it up.  Doubly so if they practice in Taffner Field House.  smile
1206  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / [360] Ghost Recon - Co Op Interest on: March 08, 2006, 03:40:57 AM
In, if I can get myself a copy.
1207  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / FNR3: Official Lockdown Knockdown Tourney (Sign up here) on: March 08, 2006, 03:04:28 AM
I'll fight KnucklesWhite soon as I see him on again.
1208  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / GRAW - Out Tomorrow in Many Stores on: March 08, 2006, 03:02:38 AM
Damn.  I want this bad now.  I'm tempted to do the unthinkable and head out to Ye Olde EBGames on 34th street, on the off chance that they actually have any copies that weren't preordered.
1209  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / GRAW - Out Tomorrow in Many Stores on: March 07, 2006, 05:58:37 PM
Best Buy here in Manhattan says they won't be in until Friday.  I may check EB/Gamestop if I feel like walking after work, but I'd much rather spend quality time during my spring break relaxing rather than walking around looking for a game that may or may not be out.
1210  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / GRAW - Out Tomorrow in Many Stores on: March 07, 2006, 03:24:15 PM
I'll be swinging by Best Buy at lunch, hopefully it'll be shelved there.
1211  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / The Outfit Demo on Marketplace... on: March 06, 2006, 09:37:42 PM
Quote from: "Scott"
Single player too, or just a multiplayer demo?

Multi only.

Got in a quick round, and it pretty much bargain-binned the game for me (before, I had slight interest, but much more in GR).  It's okay fun, but the weapons aren't very visceral, the sound is meh, and the text is extraordinarily blurry on my non-HD set (I'd blame my TV, but I have no problem with any other game being this unreadable).  I'll probably get in a few more rounds, but my initial feeling is that if I pick up GR:AW tomorrow, this is indefinitely on hold.
1212  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / The Outfit Demo on Marketplace... on: March 04, 2006, 05:25:48 PM
My money is on Monday morning.
1213  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / [360] Battlefield 2 Multi Demo - Mid March on: March 03, 2006, 04:29:24 AM
Well, we all know how demo rumors are turning out lately.  smile
1214  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / [360] Ghost Recon Demo - Sometime in the next year on: March 03, 2006, 01:31:06 AM
Signs start to be pointing towards fake, it seems like.
1215  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / [360] Ghost Recon Demo - Sometime in the next year on: March 03, 2006, 01:11:37 AM
I think since the day shift is out, we can pretty much assume we won't see the demo until tomorrow at the earliest.  Just because they gave MS the demo today doesn't mean they'll be in any rush to get it on the Marketplace today.
1216  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / FNR3: Official Lockdown Knockdown Tourney (Sign up here) on: February 28, 2006, 07:49:29 PM
Definitely all for a Config 1 contest.  We could set up a seperate, lesser belt for all the Facebutton McGee's out there.
1217  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / FNR3: Official Lockdown Knockdown Tourney (Sign up here) on: February 27, 2006, 07:17:54 PM
Put my boxer up as Hagler, I suppose.
1218  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / FNR3: Official Lockdown Knockdown Tourney (Sign up here) on: February 27, 2006, 12:10:18 AM
GamertaG:  KeySJU
Middleweight Fighter: TBD
Availability: Everything but Wednesday night
1219  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / [360] Fight Night 3 impressions on: February 24, 2006, 09:34:27 PM
As soon as evening hits and my campus connection calms down enough to get rid of the lag... you're all on.
1220  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / [360] Fight Night 3 impressions on: February 22, 2006, 07:02:53 PM
Absolutely pick it up if you don't like the twitch-based games, DiscoJason.  This game is far, far more focused on the strategic elements of boxing (single rounds are 3 minutes, and most fights go at least 4 rounds) rather than landing the first combo and dominating from there.  Well-timed punches can turn a fight around, but you don't have to land something in the .0002 seconds that a twitch game gives you to counter.

Besides, because the fights last so long, I'm guessing this will be a really great social game among the OO and GT crowds.
1221  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Tha Con$pirator ft. $paniel is coming... on: February 22, 2006, 02:28:06 PM
This is now on my profile for all to see.

I'm not really sure how that makes me feel.
1222  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / [360] Fight Night 3 impressions on: February 22, 2006, 06:32:26 AM
Played through the rest of the ESPN Classics mode tonight, and one multiplayer match.

I highly recommend doing the Classics (at least half) before starting a career; it both unlocks various styles and kits for you and allows you to try out a bunch of styles so you can know what you like better before you start a career.  Plus, they're just plain fun.  It probably took me and my roomie about 6 hours total to burn through the whole list (doing part of it on hard), but I've picked up a much better understanding of the various fight styles and an appreciation of how much they affect the gameplay.  The fights are all very well-done, and any of the matches can go either way; which ones are easy seems to depend on your preferred style, as my roomie can breeze through my tough fights and vice versa.  This Classics mode will definitely be a nice one to duck back to once in a while, especially when I have friends over; since all the matches are more or less balanced, this should cut down on whining about which boxer is unbalanced.  smile

On a whim, I tried out a quick game on Live before stopping for the night.  It was a little laggy, but it didn't effect gameplay too terribly much.  It took me about half a round to adjust to the pace, and then I was fine.  Knocked out some random guy playing Jones Jr., with me playing Holyfield.  I'm sure it will be more fun to play against you guys than random people, but I'm also looking forward to some ranked fights, too.

Seeing as I haven't even touched the career or Hard Hits modes, and I've barely even begun to scratch the surface of multiplayer, I think this game might have some legs to it.  The difficulty in SP is fine; I put it up to Hard for a while, but dropped it to Medium while fighting with a few fighters whose styles I just couldn't adapt to very well in Classics mode; Medium is providing a satisfying but not frustrating challenge, but Hard wasn't such a step up that I'll never put the difficulty there.

Also, for people who played the demo: still not sold on the commentary entirely (more on that later, when my impressions solidify), but replays are much better overall in the retail box.
1223  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / [360] Fight Night 3 impressions on: February 21, 2006, 08:17:49 PM
Quote from: "tru1cy"
Rate the difficulty?  Also buy or rental?

Bought it.  Not sure if it has legs in career mode, but I tend to play FN games to death, so I'm pretty sure I'll get my money's worth.

Difficulty, it's hard to say.  The one fight at medium wasn't difficult at all for me, but I prefer speed-style fighters, and I put in a LOT of time on the demo.  Hard felt about right for my level; I fell once, and clinched out quite a few times.  We'll see how I do at the lower tiers of the career mode before I make a judgement.

Good things about the difficulty: it never felt, even on Medium, like a completely foregone conclusion.  There were a few moments when Frazier could have put me down and forced me to clinch out, and capitalizing on a few of those could have swung the fight hugely.  It really does come down to countering a fighting style; against Frazier, I had to parry the big shots for the win, and against Ali, I had to ride out the wave of fast, light punches, and press the advantage to get in big body shots when I could, without leaving myself open for any huge flurries.  It seems like, at least between these two fighters, it's balanced enough that you can't just power through every time, or rely simply on landing more shots.
1224  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / [360] Fight Night 3 impressions on: February 21, 2006, 07:38:06 PM

Quick ones, though, managed to grab a quick fight before a phone meeting.

First of all, the interface is kind of 'meh'.  The menu system is alright, but the way it always asks which memory unit (I only have the hard drive) is kind of annoying.  Totally different, much better interface within the Live portion, there are about 150 people playing right now online.  Jumped back offline to start an ESPN Classics fight (Ali vs. Frazier, of course).  There's a nice little intro in which they give a bit of advice on each fighter's style.

In-game, things are about as the demo would indicate.  Didn't play long enough to get too much of a feel for the commentary; they weren't too far off most of the time, though.  Hoping it's an improvement over the demo long-term.  The graphics are gorgeous; they manage to keep that quality from the demo gym all the way up to the scale of the stadium environment, and the fighters look as good as the two in the demo.  Ali and Frazier have pretty well-done styles, and fighting as each one definitely felt like a different fight.  Wrecked Frazier in 4 as Ali with lightning speed, but taking control of Frazier then felt like driving a truck.  Took me six rounds to finish Ali (although I upped the difficulty to Hard in between), whose speed gave me trouble.  I just had to keep concentrating on the body and wearing him down with isolated big hooks to the midsection.

Haven't tried the cutman, listened to the between-round trainer dialogue, or done a host of other things yet.  Beating each fighter unlocked the style of the defeated fighter (i.e., when you beat Frazier, you get the 'Bully' style), and Ali also yielded a fight package, which means I'll probably be playing through the Classics mode a lot more before creating a fighter so I can mess around with more styles.  Not sure if this is for every Classic fight or just the Ali-Frazier one.

Hit me with questions: should be able to hop on and answer later today.
1225  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / The Sweet Science on: February 14, 2006, 01:07:44 AM
In in in.
1226  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Marble Blast Online Rocks... Who's got it?? on: February 05, 2006, 06:31:12 PM
I'm considering this.  Good game for a dorm room, you guys think?
1227  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Game trading experiment on: February 02, 2006, 09:47:33 PM
I'm actually trying to get this going myself.  With the Xbox 360, I bought two games (PDZ and PGR3) and have bought 2 since (Condemned and NHL2K6).  I've already traded Condemned for NFS:MW, and PGR3 and PDZ will soon be on my trading block.  Ideally, I'd like to keep about four games in the collection (although I suspect FN3 will be a Day 1 for me), so that I can always be close to beating and trading one of them.  We'll see how it works.
1228  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Geometry Wars rawks on: February 02, 2006, 05:34:09 PM
I just needed to resurrect this thread to say that Destructor's score in Evolved... is unseated.  Booyah!
1229  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / College assistance network for GT'ers on: January 24, 2006, 12:24:19 AM
I can help with any questions.  Third-year student at St. John's University in Queens, NY, with a CS major and business option, and I'm interning at a Manhattan consulting firm.  I can probably answer some CS questions, plenty of business ones, and one or two consultish ones.  smile
1230  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / MVP '06 Coming Soon...Ping! on: January 24, 2006, 12:22:26 AM
Someone load up the stadium for St. John's (Queens, NY) and tell me how it looks.  I'd love to pick this up out of some misplaced sense of loyalty to our sports teams, but I'm rethinking after the comments here.
1231  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Xbox Live 360 games, what are you playing? on: January 24, 2006, 12:07:29 AM
Loving the Geometry Wars, Gauntlet, and SmashTV, and trying to wrap up Condemned so I can trade it; after that I'm going to run co-op through PDZ with the roomies so I can try to trade that off, too, and then wrapping up PGR3 so I can trade that.  If you can't tell, I'm itching to try out some of the other stuff.

Loving the 360 so far, in total.
1232  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Hockey Talk! on: January 23, 2006, 07:37:40 AM
Quote from: "depward"
Ovechkin really is a dynamic player.  That goal he scored about a week ago or whatnot was UNBELIEVABLE.  It was fun to watch some Caps games when we had a free week of NHL Center Ice.

Yeah, that one caught everyone.  Since I'm living in NYC right now, I only caught the replay later (missed that game on the radio), but WOW.  He's firing on all cylinders... the neurons know where the limbs are, the skates and stick are, the puck is, and most importantly, where the teammates are, with enough left over to work out the next few moments of the play just so he knows where all of those things will be.  It's really a joy watching someone play with that kind of natural ability on both the physical and mental ends.
1233  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Hockey Talk! on: January 23, 2006, 07:06:49 AM
Man, it's a good time to be a Caps fan.  First four-game win streak in ages, and I just cannot BELIEVE Ovechkin.  Not only is he simply a phenomenal player, but he's unselfish even when it comes to his goal streak ending (giving up a pass that resulted in a goal against the 'Canes).

Not a playoff year for us, but still, what a time to be watching.
1234  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Geometry Wars rawks on: January 23, 2006, 07:02:06 AM
I have PDZ, which is fun.

I have PGR3, which is insanely addictive in stretches and gorgeous to look at.

I just bought Condemned, which is reminding me heavily of Millennium, one of my favorite TV shows ever and one I'm currently rewatching through.

So why, oh why, oh why, does 90% of my time on the 360 still get spent on this game?  I'm so determined to hit 500K it's frightening.
1235  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Geometry Wars rawks on: January 17, 2006, 07:59:07 PM
Quote from: "shon"
For some reason on Geometry wars my hi-score never saves it is always 10,000 everytime I play.

The high score never saves, but the leaderboard score remains.
1236  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / GTOfficial x360 Live Gamertag List on: January 05, 2006, 11:18:16 PM
I'm on Live as KeySJU, and I've got PGR3 and PDZ for now.
1237  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Fight Night Round 3 DEMO!!! On Xbox Live Marketplace NOW! on: January 05, 2006, 06:42:49 PM
I'm going to have to put more time in on this one.  I love it, but the controls didn't seem quite as fluid and responsive as they did for FN Round 2.  I'm not sure whether that's because it's a pre-release demo, if I'm remembering wrong, if there are serious underlying problems, or whether I just really, really don't like Bernard Hopkins' style.

Still a Day 1 purchase for me, though.
1238  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Fight Night Round 3 DEMO!!! On Xbox Live Marketplace NOW! on: January 05, 2006, 05:31:07 PM
If it's the same as the first one for face button punching, you hit both jab and hook simultaneously for an uppercut (been a while, so I'm not 100% on this).  As for haymakers, I believe that's only available with the Total Punch Control.

Reallly, I'd advise trying out TPC again.  It's a pretty simple system once you get the hang of it, and it feels a lot better than just mashing face buttons.
1239  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / This Is Fun Pt 3: This Time It's Personal! (possibly NSFW) on: January 07, 2005, 03:02:06 AM
I think I've seen that exact 'Why Lie?' guy in Manhattan.
1240  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / There's a part of me that wants to see what happens on: January 03, 2005, 12:56:46 AM
It demands sacrifice.  I recommend the pretext of a party.  Ask your ceremonial victim to heat up the nachos in the nuke.
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